Baguio eases restrictions, enters ‘moving on’ phase

BAGUIO CITY – The Summer Capital of the Philippines further eased up its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine restrictions as it tries out the "moving on" phase anchored on its residents embracing a new way of life.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong (JJ Landingin / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Mayor Benjamin Magalong (JJ Landingin / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued an advisory removing the Mall and Market (M&M) pass requirement in malls and other business establishments (except at the city market), discontinuing the ban on liquor sale and consumption, and giving permission to families and senior citizens to go out for essential needs and services.

All of these, however, were hinged on the condition that residents should still follow strict health and safety protocols.

He said: "We have to move on and learn to live with the virus but we can only do so if we strictly observe all health protocols.  Self-discipline is paramount as the city attempts to further ease up protocols with the thrust to slowly reopen the economy."

"We must forge on by learning to live with this virus. I understand that one needs food for sustenance, but we cannot count out the positive effects of physical activity, and the company of friends and family. Which is why, once again, we will try to ease up on restrictions within the city," Magalong underscored.

The number of cases resulting from targeted testing have been showing which industries and places are highly vulnerable, and this should warn people to stick to the minimum health protocols and to not to let their guard down.

He advised families "to be mindful of our health standards and protocols when outside and inside their homes. 

"If it is not essential, or if it is to an area where your family members may be exposed to risk of COVID-19 transmission, then let us err on the side of caution and just stay home," the mayor said.

For senior citizens, he said "greater care should be afforded to senior citizens and immunocompromised persons, to ensure that they have minimal exposure to health risks."

On the lifting of the temporary liquor ban after a month's imposition, he reminded the residents to drink responsibly and in moderation. 

"Let us refrain from sharing glasses and utensils, and drinking excessively.  Socialize, but do so with social distancing. The COVID-19 IATF should not be constrained to implement a third liquor ban," Magalong reminded Baguio residents.

"We cannot control COVID-19, but we can certainly control how we react and respond to it. A disciplined and responsible mindset is reflected in our actions, and when exercised collectively, we are more empowered to contain and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in our city," he added.